Today there was a funeral for a friend of mine, Darryl D. We weren’t very close, but he still inspired me. He spent seventeen years battling back from a severe brain tumor. Seventeen years of ups and downs, and he kept up hope the whole time. Maybe it was because he sensed those years were all “bonus time”. He wasn’t supposed to live at all, given the location and severity of the original tumor.
He even wrote a book about it: Force a Miracle . He befriended football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, who wrote the foreword. And while I’m not the kind of Pollyanna who would say Darryl proved that we can do anything once we put our mind to it, he sure made a good case for perseverence being its own reward.
Grief first, then hope growing out of it… like a phoenix.
I wrote the poem below for him. I can’t even say whether its good or bad. It was more of a blurt than a poem, really. It just is what it is. Rest in peace, Double D.
Darryl died a thousand deaths
And yet came back to life each time
He was not angry about his pain
Though punished he committed no crime
He kept up hope, expected miracles
And if they were slow in coming, he pushed
He laughed through all the indignities
He’s laughing still, peaceful and hushed.